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tv   [untitled]    December 8, 2012 10:00am-10:30am PST

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delayed. they just get more expensive. and all of the calls for additional environmental reviews. the frivolous lawsuits and so on, these are the things that are responsible for the explosion in the costs. we don't have to take this thing out through columbus avenue. we could have taken it out through the park and left the roadway open. but we had even more vocal opposition to the people who didn't want to harm a single tree or a single blade of grass. this was the compromise that was intended to mollify the public. there is nothing wrong in principle with pagoda option. it's just there are additional costs there. they have to come from somewhere. my city is not a trash dumb. i don't want to leave anything in the ground. that's a practice that should have stopped with washing the ships into the store line and the gold rush era and filling in the bay to extend the shoreline.
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we want people to pick up our trash, to separate our recyclables, to reuse, repurpose what we can * to practice sustainability. to set leadership by example. do whatever you have to do, but let's not leave these pieces somewhere in the ground where they're going to be someone else's problem, but someone else's problem at our expense. thank you. >> our next speaker, please. >> julie christian son, joan wood, fannie renwau. >> good afternoon. good afternoon. i support the general connection of t-line to north beach if it is well designed and well planned. because of that i don't support the abandonment of equipment under chinatown. i believe the loss of finances and the loss of momentum could reduce the chances for an eventual north beach station. i do support the extraction at
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the 1700 block of powell. whether that be the pagoda or one of the adjacent properties. i think the pagoda itself has a lot of benefit. if the extraction takes place, if the land is leased from the property owner, not purchased, the property owner has a lot to gain. there is a high water table. there's tons of concrete, bleachers poured in the middle of that building. if the city extracted the unit there and left that property owner with a better situation, it would benefit both us and him. of course, the purchase of the property is what i'd like because i think there are a number of benefits to the neighborhood in having a transit station at that particular location. but we're not just talking about transit, bull the entire public relevant being of north beach. the escalator alignment and all the connections, i think for us it allows some changes to the heart of north beach that could be not only a transit benefit, but a benefit to the public realm.
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with washington square, the new library, joe di maggio, the pedestrian experience on columbus, it can make a big difference for both the residents and the businesses and the visitors to our neighborhood. so, the opportunity here is really to improve -- to offer a chance to improve the neighborhood in many great ways. i don't know how to ask you to vote. i know i'm highly in favor of the pagoda option, but i'm not sure about the resolution today because of the some of the issues of timing. i'd like you to instruct the mta not to simply try, in the words of yoda, but to do. to approach this option with the vigor and determination that makes it real and to give us a chance for the future. >> thanks. >> joan wood followed by sandy renwau, and yee fong. >> good afternoon, ms. woods. good afternoon, commissioners. i've been living in north beach since 1962.
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i've continuously used the central subway, but we lost that one. i am just stupefied by some of the lies. i can't believe option 2 was not the favored choice. director rifkin, you were there, i'm sure you remember this rather clearly. we were not notified about this meeting and that these options were going to be presented to you until november 30th. i understand not everybody was notified by mr. funge if these options were going to be put before you. but anyway, i was. and then i've been back and forth with him three or four times about why option 2 didn't appear on the agenda. and the last thing i heard from him was, he thanked me this was the first. thank you for your comments regarding option 2. we'll be presenting all options to our board of -- on december
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the first. i don't see option 2 anyplace in your agenda. the decision on which option to move forward is now with our board. i was at the meeting all three hours of it and option 2 was clearly the majority vote. it says $20 million. nobody seems to be interested in that. pagoda palace is indeed an eyesore, but it seems to be if you go for it, or vote that it can be studied further, it's just going to continue the plan that they want already. it's still going to tear up a lot of columbus avenue. it has to. there's no way we can get the boring machines without causing a lot of disretionv. please, postpone the vote until you get option 2 before you -- we weren't even given the black-out statistic for the five options we were presented with. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please.
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>> fannie renwau and [speaker not understood]. >> i'm a north each artist and poet and i like to live above ground and walk around san francisco and so do the did you rememberists. if we bypass all the small businesses in chinatown and in north beach, that's not going to do anyone any good at all. it's like bombing golden gate park and a few other things that i can think of * . it's like israel building in the west bank. * without, you know, stepping over their bounds. we need to make this city more beautiful and more lovely, not industrialized. i would like to see a cable car coming down columbus avenue. that is what we love.
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that is what we want. that is what i want. i want to keep this neighborhood the way it was when i came here 28 years ago, gentle, beautiful people, talking on corners, turning everyone into smilers, making happiness. this is not a happy situation at all. look at gentrification at fisherman's wharf. this is a dictator's plan. everything, this plan for muni and i love muni above ground. i love riding it. it's a terrific service. i love to see the chinese people and everyone else doing their thing. and i want to do it better and more magical. let's keep the magic in north beach and work out something through brainstorming with everyone about what it's going to make it better for san
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francisco and the [speaker not understood] of san francisco. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> lotus yee fong, glendina farley, [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon. hi, i'm lotus fong. and to use the convention & visitors slogan, mr. de la sandra should be happy. only in san francisco, there's two lotus fongs. so, i'm going to take this -- i only moved here 30 years ago. i remember johnny stein from muni. i personally knew three senior citizens who were killed at geary and laguna. so, i was at the meeting to get the limited stop, okay. what i see is the city's growing and gentrifying very fast. sometimes when you do things fast, you might be a little sorry afterwards. so, i'd like to support everyone else here who feels
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the sense of community in the city and also whenever i'm in chinatown, north beach, downtown, my husband and i, we stop and we help the tourists. we give them directions. you get off at powell between washington, you don't know where chinatown is. okay. so, in the interest of making the quality of life and transportation in san francisco better, it seems like we need to slow down, february 1st is not going to work, and rethink this thing. and in the beginning when we had the emergencies, these day or two and i give all the employees credit, the word used was "cost-effective." so, the gentleman who did the work to fix the breakdown is we need to build that kind of city at the street level or whatever level where we don't have more pedestrian transit accidents. so, there seems to be some
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design flaws. i drive fourth and bryant because my husband works by the caltrain station. well, that's the beginning of it, but i don't see the logical connection, how you get on the subway. and then from chinatown i want to speak to the hardships of the businesses because i tried helping louie's restaurant. they went out of business, four years of construction from the chinatown campus of community college. so, cost-effective, it's going to be this much money -- >> thank you very much. let's do it right. >> next speaker. >> [speaker not understood]. patricia landis, mark brewin owe. >> good afternoon. >> hello, my name is [speaker not understood], and i lived in north beach most of my life. i work in both chinatown and north beach at the historic and culinary tour guide. i know chinatown is very excited about their subway station, at least some people, especially the artists assigned to paint murals. as an artist i can fully
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understand * . but what i can't understand is why we can't leave the tbm machines in chinatown. use the money saved and put it into a trust or account to collect interest until the time we can put a station in north beach. we could do some creative investigation into the possibility of bore boroughing under maybe powell street * and set a proper station at the site of the pagoda palace showcase instead of digging under businesses that are trying to hard to keep the neighborhood interesting and alive. lately i have been guiding excited guests from all parts of the world by the beautiful and historic washington square park, clark tower. st. peter and paul's church, shops, bakeries, restaurants, and also by embarrassing and dangerous tractors, trailers, traffic jambs, downed trees, dug up streets amidst the aroma of coffee roasting and diesel fumes. i know what's going on. i live right in the middle of
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north beach. one window is on columbus, one window is on stockton. i can smell, taste, hear -- i know what's going on. and i think a little more investigation should be planned before bulldozing through our neighborhood without regard to residents and businesses, which does not represent progress or proper planning, but i think mostly greed. thank you. >> patricia landis, [speaker not understood]. good afternoon. my name is patricia [speaker not understood]. we're coming from north beach and i'm a florist. [speaker not understood]. i'm happy everybody has business now, but thinking about our business is very, very hard.
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now with the construction, i know -- now, everybody saves money. i know everybody is saving money in the pocket. this is no, no. they're saying city hall has to save money. [speaker not understood]. i was working coming from chinatown and i realized it's leaking the water why they don't paint t why they don't fix what they already done? repair what is right now. i'm happy that there is construction and they are investing money in san francisco. that's wonderful. everybody say, wow, san francisco so many opportunities. it's construction, you can do this business. but now, it is a catastrophe. if they think that, okay, i'm happy. think about everybody because we represent families. all the people, how is patricia's business? it's slow, it's slow.
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wow, i hope it will be better. i'm concerned with this. we're part of the neighborhood like. this i've seen the engineer and the architecture. they think about a place, you know. so, think about everything what you're doing and try to preserve what we have. you can work at north beach easily through chinatown. it's good to work. it's very good, i did. [speaker not understood]. (applause) i'm 55 years old. you're 55? yeah, it's okay, it's a number. but if you work, you're healthy. yeah. so, i hope -- thank you for everything. thank you very much. i appreciate. >> thank you. next speaker. >> mark bruno, tina more land, graziano [speaker not understood]. my name is mark bruno. thank you directors for listening to our concerns about the first option, which is called the base option in north
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beach. i should tell you that i'm one of the litigants in the current lawsuit. it is not a trivia lawsuit. it's a real lawsuit. 31 businesses are supporting us because they're concerned about the effects on their businesses should option 1, the base plan to take the equipment out of the center of columbus occur. i would like to endorse what mr. reiskin, the director of the mta suggested was the possibility at the beginning of today's meeting. that is that you accept the return here if option 4 and option 3 are not possible, that they would ask the mta to come back here to the board with or without public comment but certainly just to listen for all of us in public to know why option 4 and option 3 are not possible. and i commend mr. reiskin and director [speaker not understood] for listening for the first time to the community. i think they've done an excellent job in trying to find
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out what it is that the businesses are so concerned about. i think that i can say if we can't go to the pagoda palace or choose option 3 instead, we would certainly withdraw this lawsuit. i've met privately with the mayor about that and we confirmed that in writing to him and to christine [speaker not understood], that we are not trying to stop the subway at all, but only we're concerned about preserving the community in north beach. i myself testified many years ago in favor of the subway. i recently ran for public office and i made a point of always saying as i do now, that i'm in favor of the subway. i'm in favor of it coming to north beach. and i want to see it happen in the right way with public input and with proper financing. finally, i want to answer one question that was raised earlier today by director brinkman, and that is comparing union square with north beach. i think the difference only there is the businesses there are very largement many of them are chains that have support and finance from their chinese. so, the people in north beach,
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the businesses in particular, are much more concerned about the possible effects in their neighborhood. and, of course, we're not scheduled for a subway stop. that's another difference. >> thank you, mr. bruno. thank you for your time. next speaker. [speaker not understood] more land, graziano [speaker not understood], [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon. good afternoon, director rifkin and fellow board members. i'm currently the president of russian hill neighbors, and we represent over 600 households and merchants. and at our recent meeting that ended at 9 o'clock last night, our board of directors with 30 people -- we have a very large board of directors -- unanimously voted to support option 4 at the pagoda theater. it is rare that 30 people agree, especially the 30 people with whom i'm involved. i come from a family of 45.
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rarely -- we have collaboration, rarely consensus. so, i've been involved with -- i've been with north beach library, so, different opinions. i respect and everyone's opinion that has come before me today, but this just happens to be what we looked at it very thoroughly as we have. it's a 30-year old organization and we've tried to take in every side of it. and like i said, we unanimously support option 4 at this time. things could change, but today december 4th [inaudible]. thank you. >> thank you. >> graziano [speaker not understood]. my name is graziano mukasey and i run a small business in
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north beach. [speaker not understood] found out when it's supposed to start. and nobody ever came. nobody ever said anything to us. and when we find out, 116 people in one week signed that we were against it, 116 byness, not people, business. so, now we're at the point * [speaker not understood] not only do we have the business, and they want to dig a huge hole in the middle of columbus avenue and union. now, i ask the last meeting, i asked the last meeting, why section 1 have to be done after 2, 3 and 4, can't pick any of those? they said, well, that's what you need. you need a station in north beach so more people coming in. when the station going to be done? it's not even on the books.
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it's not even -- money, nothing. 10 years from now, 15 years from now? this is 1989 to 2012 to be starting. when the station north beach going to be? there's no money, there's no plans, there's nothing. i'm going to be retired. i'm not even going to make it work. my business is going to go down. they're not going to listen. i asked mr. funge to talk russian. he told me that's what we need. he stationed north beach. what is the plans? where is the money? there is not a plan that can be done. it can be the business, it can be the machine underground. pagoda [speaker not understood], fine. but number one, we all vote last meeting, it was no, absolutely not. that's north beach, that's us. the chinese community said no. so, thank you very much. you make your decision better than the one they do. >> next speaker, please.
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>> kathleen dody, maria [speaker not understood], and [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon. hi, kathleen dooley. i'm here speaking today as a representative from the north beach business association and chinatown cdc. we have written a joint letter that i'd like to read to you today in support of option 4. the chinatown community development center is a proud long-time supporter of the central subway. with the north beach business association, we endorse the concept of an extension to north beach and fisherman's wharf. we support director reiskin's proposal to study extraction of the tunnel boring machine at the pagoda theater with an alternative of behring the tbm under columbus avenue. we also support the mta's efforts to plan for a station at the pagoda theater and additional stations to and from fisherman's wharf. this will create a north-south
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connection that serves the eastern edge of san francisco, connecting important neighborhoods and communities. the north beach business association, we have over 80 members in north beach would like to add a few more comments, which is, we would like to see the excavation in a new station at pagoda palace, but we want to make it clear that we do not support this idea if it involves any spot zoning that would allow the owner to build higher than the 58 feet which is currently permitted as a maximum height allowed at that site. we also want to state that any other possible location for a station would need to be chosen only up to the entire community was involved and exhaustively vetted sites. needless to say we would oppose [speaker not understood] washington square park in any way as a location for any station or the staging for a station in another location. [speaker not understood]
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enormous economic disruption done to small business during the construction of the 3rd street line. and the many store fronts that remain empty after independent businesses were forced out. please choose option 4 today. >> thank you, ma'am. okay, next speaker, please. >> [speaker not understood], don [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon. [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. they started utility work in august. i had one customer walk in. it's just me. we [speaker not understood], it's not union. so, [speaker not understood] day one. the last meeting we both are number two and it's not on the table. we with 90 people. deception, from day one, a lot. the day i met you guys and the engineer [speaker not understood]. i am so sorry how we can trust people to say they will not cut
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the tree and they cut all the trees on columbus. they said they will not put the machine in front of business and they did that. we are small mom and pop shop. i'm not sure why we vote for something, and now we go to something else. i would like to take the board consideration. we are all majority immigrant. i'm from italy. i love america. i come here, the american dream. imus us citizen, i love this. and i built, i constructed something from nothing, seven years. i'm one of the few woman business owners. most of them men. we are good neighbors. we love each other, we help each other. you're going to make this disappear and you don't really care. and i see that and i feel it. the utility work damage us from august. august is the busy month. we didn't see anything. please choose well. we are a mom and pop shop. we are very business. we work, we are family. how we can continue to support our family? we work 17 hours a day. how many i have to work?
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please don't let come up and see people. we're going to clean your window. you insult my intelligence right now. so, please watch us, calm us, support us, but don't do excavation in north beach. thank you very much. >> thank you, ma'am. next speaker, please. >> mary helen lowly, don [speaker not understood], barry toronto. >> good afternoon. good afternoon, i'm [speaker not understood]. i'm a resident of north beach. and i want to say a quick thing about comparing this to downtown to north beach to the disruption. as you know i'm sure, north beach has lots of restaurants with outdoor seating. the mess and the noise would [speaker not understood] anybody outside. i hope you're getting it. there is a lot of fear what the first option would do to the neighborhood, to small business owners there. they will not recover if they're having a difficult time already. and also i know you're hearing a lot of different ideas,
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opinions and i guess that's democracy, messy, but that's the way it is. but i think the one thing that is consistent and unanimous to north beach is that nobody wants that first option, the excavation on columbus and union. or i think if that's the one you end up doing, i think there are a lot of problems. it will unite our neighborhood in a way we may not always be unite and had adjoining neighborhoods as well. it's just so damaging for the people who are trying to make a living there and the people who live in the neighborhood, too. and i'm also very concerned about this february 1st, this important arbitrary deadline. it seems to me this is very important. and i just think that -- i would hope that all of you and i can imagine you want some time to look into this and not feel that you are rushed, too, because it's so important. and the impact of what is going to happen to future development, [speaker not understood]. but i'd hate to see this rushed
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by some arbitrary february 1st deadline. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> dan [speaker not understood], [speaker not understood], [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon, sir. good afternoon, commissioners. my name is dan makiarini. i'm a long-time merchant and my family is a long-time merchant in north beach. my father opened his store in the fall of 1948 and we are the the longest ongoing design house and production studio for modern jewelry and small sculpture in the united states at this time. i work with my daughter, proudly have, a family business. part of the reason there is so much interest in this project at this time is that this work was not done years ago. the process by which we arrive at how we do an infrastructure project that does not disrupt small business in a way that it runs it out has been inverted.
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any option that you vote for today that involves digging a hole in the middle of a main thoroughfare anywhere in this city, particularly on columbus avenue, will destroy small business. even option 3 should be looked at very closely because there is an access shaft that is being proposed in the community meeting. no one was really clear about how long it would take to have it. no one was really clear about how big it would be. or how long it would be there. if you block a main thoroughfare, not only will you destroy businesses in north beach, but one of the reasons that the chinese community housing people have come up with support of this, you will disrupt business all the way into chinatown, all the way into lower grant avenue, all the way on stockton street. strongly urge you to do something with the pagoda palace because then you can do something that is really more
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key that would actually make a stop people would go to because they want to go to the subway stop which would be an amazing development. but don't do anything that allows a hole right in the middle of a main thoroughfare in any part of the city. >> thank you. as a native san franciscan, also merchants association, i support the previous statement. >> thank you. >> barry toronto, roland salvato, denise dan. >> good afternoon. good afternoon, barry toronto. i figured i'd join these list of speakers considering i have an italian last name. anyway, i want to let you know that cab drivers taking people from the downtown hotels, south of market hotels, take people's recommendations to north